Jazz Performance; B.Mus. (Minor)

Program Overview

The Minor in Jazz Performance offers students the opportunity to develop abilities in instrumental and vocal jazz through a combination of theoretical and practical courses.

Enrollment

This minor program is open to B.Mus. students (with the exception of students in the B.Mus. Jazz Performance or B.Mus. Faculty - Jazz programs). To be considered for admission, you must have a minimum grade of A- in MUIN 282 or 283. Enrollment is limited and based on an audition.

Requirements

Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.) - Minor Jazz Performance (18 Credits)

Audition

Audition Material

For all instruments including voice (except drums, see drums requirements below)

For each selection, prepare the melody and an improvised solo. The tunes listed below are examples.
If you chose a tune that is not on the list, please bring a lead sheet for the rhythm section. 

Bassists: Be prepared to demonstrate walking lines as well as solo ability on all three pieces. 

Pianists and guitarists: Be prepared to demonstrate comping as well as solo ability on all three pieces.

  1. Select one piece from each of the three categories below.
    • Blues (examples: Billie's Bounce; Au Privave; Straight No Chaser; Tenor Madness; Sonny Moon for Two; Blues Walk)
       
    • Ballads (examples: Body and Soul; What's New; I Can't Get Started; I Fall in Love too Easily)
       
    • Jazz Standards (examples: Blue Bossa; Solar; All the Things You Are; So What; Green Dolphin Street; What is this Thing Called Love; Stella by Starlight; Four; Night and Day).
       
  2. Prepare one transcription and play it along with the original recording.
    • For example: play along with the original recording of Charlie Parker's improvised solo on Now's the Time.
      The object is to evaluate accuracy, style, time concept, articulation, phrasing and sound.
      The transcription should be memorized and, for live auditions, be sure to bring a CD of the original recording to play along with your transcription .
       
  3. Be prepared to play/sing major scales and modes, major, minor, dominant seventh chords and arpeggios, diminished seventh chords and arpeggios, diminished and whole tone scales.
     
  4. Be prepared to sight read.

 

For Jazz Drums

  1. Bring your own cymbals, sticks, brushes.  
     
  2. Prepare a short study (2-3 minutes) to show rudimental skills.
     
  3. Prepare a short transcription (1-2 choruses) of an important jazz drummer (such as Max Roach, Joe Morello, Roy Haynes, Art Blakey). 
    The object is to evaluate accuracy, style, time concept, articulation, phrasing and sound.
    The transcription should be memorized and, for live auditions, be sure to bring a CD of the original recording to play along with your transcription .
     
  4. Be prepared to demonstrate the following proficiencies -
    (examples of pieces that could be performed: Billie's Bounce; Au Privave; Straight No Chaser; Tenor Madness; Sonny Moon for Two; Blues Walk, All theThings You Are; So What, Green Dolphin Street; Stella by Starlight; Four; Night and Day)  
    • Slow/Medium/Fast Swing, Jazz Shuffle, Straight-8th styles (“ECM”, Cuban and Brazilian grooves), Afro-Cuban-12/8.
    • Trading 4's, 8's or choruses on a blues, 32-bar AABA tune, and tunes of alternating latin, swing, latin, swing sections, while keeping the form of the pieces.
       
  5. Be prepared to demonstrate your ability to play with brushes as well as sticks and to change smoothly from brushes to sticks.

 

Applying

Application Deadline: March 1. Late applications will be accepted at the discretion of the department.

How to Apply:

  • Complete the online application form.
  • After completing the form, an audition date/time will be set up for you.

You will be notified of the results via email by the end of May. If you have questions, contact the Department of Performance (email: performance.music [at] mcgill.ca, phone: 514-398-4542).